Gaza has cursed all its rulers, ranging from the Egyptian intelligence establishment up until 1967, to us, to the Palestinian Authority, and now Hamas as well. Everything Hamas does in the Gaza Strip these days fails, as if a spell had been cast on it.
The Hamas leadership voluntarily imprisoned itself in a narrow prison, isolated from Israel, from the Palestinian Authority, from Egypt,
Today, the Hamas state is boycotted by all global elements, with the exception of Iran.
However, the ties with Iran are turning out to do more damage than good. They indeed bring in tens of millions of dollars a year, but they have tainted Hamas’ image in the eyes of the Arab world and in the eyes of some of the Palestinians themselves.
Hamas is being portrayed as a servant of a foreign, artificial, and illogical phenomenon. As long as it’s cooperating with Iran, it can forget about genuine dialogue with Fatah, which is a movement premised on independent decisions.
The Qassams fired by cells and gangs in Gaza backfire. When they fire at Israel, the Hamas leadership is being blamed around the world. Even when the IDF operates in Gaza, the Hamas leadership is blamed, as it’s being perceived as a provocateur. This is how it’s being presented in the Palestinian Authority, while Palestinian public opinion shifts against the Hamas rule.
When global public opinion joins Palestinian public opinion, the result is critical for the Palestinians. After all, they only have a media and public relations chance as long as they present themselves as weak and beaten, but Hamas is doing the exact opposite.
Hamas has always been a mental state, a constant provocation, and now it has been exclusively tasked with managing civilian life in Gaza. And what’s the result? Terrible poverty, economic collapse, despair, and infrastructural ruin. This was not what Hamas promised during its election campaign, namely better life for Gaza residents.
Embarrassingly, Hamas thought that an entity like the Gaza Strip, which is completely dependent, can detach itself from Israel, which provides food and employment. Now they’re paying the terrible price.
Israel must avoid Hamas trapWhile being bound to this bleak reality, Hamas leaders are discovering that Israel, the one they disparaged and viewed as a weak element, is too much for them to handle. How can they admit that their entire struggle “to eliminate Israel” is wrongheaded and even ridiculous? Their win in Gaza confronted them with reality and turned out to be a terrible defeat, as everything they believed in either collapsed or is fictional.
The global enlistment in favor of Israel, in the United Nations and in international conferences, came to save what is left of Palestinian nationalism – this is a process where Israel gains great assets. As such, Teheran’s allies in Lebanon and Gaza have found themselves stuck in a bubble, enclosed in their own anger and insult, while Israel grows stronger. What a disaster for Ahmadinejad.
At this time, the Gaza Strip lacks the economic, mental or organizational power to embark on war with Israel. The Strip is occupied with its own disaster and is beaten by Israel day and night. While Hamas routinely pestered us for years, today the IDF is doing the same to them. They keep on firing rockets and Qassams? Yes, but it’s becoming more difficult every day.
This makes it clear why it’s so important for us not to fall into Hamas’ and Islamic Jihad’s trap. This trap was recently at our doorstep, and we almost tripped into it. If we were to embark on a large scale ground incursion, Hamas and Jihad would only gain from this, as it would disrupt all our plans. It would be enough for us to suffer many casualties, or see residents in southern towns go into bomb shelters for Hamas to argue, like Hizbullah did previously, that it won.
The right approach is to tighten the siege and keep hitting terrorists in Gaza. A new war would be a type of connection, and we fortunately were able to disconnect from Gaza and its curse. We already paid the price in that terrible place. Now let the curse befall others.